18 April 2010

How the "War on Terror" creates more terrorists

Glenn Greenwald explains:
ABC News this week described the efforts of U.S. Special Forces to apologize to Haji Sharabuddin -- the 80-year-old patriarch of that family who lost two sons, two daughters and a granddaughter in the attack -- by offering him two sheep (a gesture of begging forgiveness in Pashtun custom), and the article included this:

Presenting sheep is such a powerful form of requesting forgiveness that the father is now obligated not to take revenge, even though he has told reporters he wanted to become a suicide bomber. . . . But the incident so inflamed the family, the father initially vowed to take revenge, "even if it breaks me into pieces."

"I have lost patience. I am obliged to revenge my martyrs," he told an ABC News cameraman on March 18. "I will destroy everything I have and will launch my own suicide attack. My heart is burning."

But the fact that this 80-year-old man was vowing to perpetrate a suicide attack on U.S. forces speaks volumes about the effects of our actions in that country...

Both Gen. Petraeus and Gen. McChrystal have been admirably candid about the link between our actions and the Terrorist reaction they cause, along with the need to be mindful of that causal link, but waging war in countries where the Enemy is composed of a substantial part of the population will inevitably entail incidents like the bus shooting this morning, and thus inevitably worsen the Terrorist problem we are ostensibly trying to combat...
More at the link.

1 comment:

  1. What is extremely interesting is how that paradigm is not inevitable in the "War on Terror." When you look at the Anbar Awakening in Iraq you see the exact opposite side of the coin. Our persistence in the area and promises of security through strength of arms and plainly stated desire not to be rulers led to the local families and tribes to back US forces while shunning the violent and oppressive foreign jihadists. I think it is ignorantly simplistic of Greenwald to take a tragic one off anecdote and spin it into a "war on terror always means more terrorists" meme. That being said we could do a lot better in preventing this kind of collateral damage which is so clearly counterproductive and tragic.


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